Saturday, May 18, 2013

Cover Reveal: Take Care, Sara by Lindy Zart

Pretty in Pink working with Girls Heart Books Tours, is excited to have Lindy Zart's cover reveal for her new book  Take Care, Sara




Book Info
Title- Take Care, Sara
By- Lindy Zart
Expected Publication Date- June 6th, 2013
Cover Design:  Eden Crane Design



Blurb

You breathe in, you breathe out, and everything you know is gone.
Sara Walker knows firsthand what it feels like to have your reality ripped away, scrambled, and shoved back at you in an undone puzzle where pieces are missing and nothing fits. She's lost so much and is struggling to live and to find the strength to forgive herself for being human. With the help of Lincoln, her husband's brother, Sara realizes it's not about finding who she used to be, but about finding who she is now.You breathe in, you breathe out, and everything you know isn't gone, but reborn.
Author Bio
 
Lindy Zart has been writing since she was a child. Luckily for readers, her writing has improved since then. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, two sons, and one cat. Lindy loves hearing from people who enjoy her work.
 
Links




Juliana Haygert's Destiny's Gift Review and Sale!!



Juliana is one of the lovely author's who will be attending the Stamford Author Event this August.  It has been a pleasure to meet and work with her and I can't wait to meet her at the SAE!  Her book Destiny's Gift will be on sale starting today for the next 2 weeks! 

Buy Links


DESTINY GIFT
Genre: NA paranormal romance
Word Count: 73,000
Release date: April 1st, 2013
Blurb

Thirty years in the future, a sinister New York City exists in permanent darkness.
A student at the secured NYU, nineteen-year-old Nadine has visions of Victor Gianni, an imaginary guy she has real feelings for. Afraid of being truly insane, she explains the visions away as simple daydreams, but she can no longer deny them when she bumps into Victor in real life. But this Victor doesn’t know her, and turns her away. After the encounter, Nadine’s visions change to those of eerie fates, gods she’s never heard of, demons with sharp claws they are not too timid to use … and instructions. To discover if she’s losing her mind, Nadine follows the vague directions—with the real, rude and reluctant Victor—leading to a man who knows it all: Nadine can restore an ancient creed by unveiling the clues on her visions, and bring sunlight and peace to the world again. But that’s only if the demons and the other evil forces behind the darkness don’t stop her first 
 Author's Bio

While Juliana Haygert dreams of being Wonder Woman, Buffy, or a blood elf shadow priest, she settles for the less exciting—but equally gratifying—life of a wife, mother, and author. Thousands of miles away from her former home in Brazil, she now resides in Connecticut and spends her days writing about kick-ass heroines and the heroes who drive them crazy
Links
Blog 
 
 My Review

FYI I keep my reviews short and sweet and I don't do spoilers. 
I won this book in an event back in February, before I "knew" Juliana. Overall, I enjoyed the book very much and would reccommend it to others. I am definitely going to keep reading the series. For me the beginning was a little scattered and it took me a while to really get into the book but once I did I had to keep reading. I like the characters and the ending was a nice cliffhanger.  My final review is 4 stars! 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Review and Spotlight of Megan Smith's Debut Novel Trying Not to Love You



On my earlier Featured Friday post as an official blogger for the Stamford Author Event, I posted a spotlight of debut novelist Megan Smith.  Megan is one of the 35 authors who will be attending the SAE, and today is her release day!  Sooooo... HAPPY RELEASE DAY from Pretty in Pink, Megan!!  Megan was kind enough to gift me a copy of her novel in exchange for a review.  My preferred genre is paranormal/YA/NA, but I do love a good romance book occasionally.  This book rocked my socks off!!  Today I have for you another excerpt from her novel, (I posted the prologue on my earlier post.) and my review.  FYI:  I do short and sweet reviews, and I do not post spoilers.  Enjoy!!

To read the prologue first, go HERE.

Chapter One
Present
Summer was ending, and I would be heading off to college next weekend.  This weekend, my best friend Hailey, Hunter’s sister Jaylinn, and I were throwing a surprise 21st birthday party for my twin brothers.  We were only a few days away from the party, and they knew we were up to something.  My brothers were extremely protective of me since I was the baby of the family, and of course, the only girl.  Dad instilled it in their heads at a young age that they were always to protect me.  That made trying to plan something without them knowing near impossible, since they did not let me go anywhere without one of them or Hunter.
“Kenzie!” Mason yelled.
I jumped, dropped the shirt I was holding and my right hand flew to my heart.  “Jesus, Mase you scared the shit out of me.”  I bent down and picked up the shirt I was trying to fold.
“What are you up to this weekend?”  Mason leaned his shoulder against the laundry room door.
“Hailey, Jaylinn and I are all going out on dates together this weekend.”  I replied but did not look in his direction because I knew a fight was about to start.  My brothers hated when I went out on dates.  Hell, they hated when any of us went on a date, for that matter.
“No, you’re not.  It’s our birthday weekend, and you guys are hanging with us.  Tell Dominic he is going to have to come next weekend.”  I did not have to look up to know he was glaring at me.
“No, he already has plans to come this weekend since he doesn’t have football practice.  I’m not cancelling on him.”  Dominic had left a few weeks ago for college at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, where he received a full football scholarship to play for them.  Hailey and I would be joining him and Hunter there this fall.  Yes, I know what you are thinking.  I chose to go there because of Hunter, and yes, it was probably a mistake, but I did not care.
“Yeah, you can.  Tell those assholes you have plans.”  With that, he turned away before I could respond.  I had been dealing with this all week when Mason or Cooper would ask what my plans were.  I had always tried to avoid them and to be as vague as possible.
A few minutes after Mason walked away, my phone beeped.  I reach into my back pocket, grab my phone out and read the text.
Hailey – 12:22pm: Got a text from Mase telling me 2 cancel my date this weekend
Me – 12:23pm: LOL.  They have no idea
Hailey – 12:23pm: I know it’s going 2 be gr8
The twins had to work for the next few days with my uncle, so it was easy avoiding them.  We were able to run to the store to grab things for the party without them knowing.  Hunter was going to cover for us Friday night.  He told my brothers that he wanted to take me to see a chic flick to repay me for when I helped him a few weeks ago.  Dominic had football practice Friday, so he was not going to be here until some point on Saturday.  I could not use Dominic as an excuse to be out of the house without one of my brothers tagging along.
Late Friday afternoon, Hunter came to pick me up before my brothers got home.  We made our way to my parents shore house to start getting things set up for the party the next day.
My parents were out of town on a weekend getaway.  The shore house was a lot bigger than our regular house.  It was three stories with five bedrooms, two bathrooms and a full finished basement.  The house also had a massive deck and the beach backed up to the yard.  We had a lot more room here to accommodate everyone than we did at home.  Hailey had come down earlier in the day to let the housekeeper in so they could give the house a good cleaning before everyone would arrive tomorrow.
Hunter and I walked into the house.  I called out, “Hey Hails!  We’re here.”
“Hey guys,” she came over and kissed Hunter and then me on the cheek.
“I just started putting a few decorations around the house.  Did you get the food and the rest of the stuff from your house?”
“Yeah we got it.  It’s all in my truck.”  Hunter yelled over his shoulder, on his way out to the truck to grab the food.
“I’m going to get started on the food.  Hails, can you get Hunter to help you move the furniture around in the living room, so we have more space?  Mom also said to lock all the bedroom doors so nobody can get into them.  You know where the keys are, right?”
“Yes, on top of the fridge in the money jar.”  Hailey said, and then left to go help Hunter.
For the next couple of hours, I prepped all my brothers’ favorite foods.  Hailey and Hunter moved everything around so that we would have room for everyone tomorrow night.
“All done, CC.  Anything else you need help with?”  God, when he called me that, I just wanted to kiss him to death and punch him, all at the same time.  Hunter was the only one that got away with calling me CC, short for Chubby Cheeks.  There was a picture of me as baby dressed up in an Easter dress that my parents kept on the mantle at home.  I looked like a Cabbage Patch doll.  Mom had put this bonnet on me that made my cheeks look super chubby and ever since Hunter saw it, he started teasing me by calling me CC.
“Nope, I think that everything is done for tonight.  You ready to get out of here Hails?”
Looking as if she would drop any moment, she answered, “Yes, I’m exhausted.  We should get up early to come back down here, so we better get going.”
We left Hailey’s car at the shore house, since it was late and she did not want to drive the forty-five minute ride home by herself.  Fifteen minutes into the ride, I looked back at Hailey, and she had passed out.  I looked over at Hunter, and started picturing all the things I wanted to do with him.  I knew it was wrong, because I had Dominic, but it was just something I could not help.
“See something you like, CC?”  He had the biggest smirk on his face.
Damn, he caught me looking at him.  I turned away from Hunter, and looked out the window, hoping to hide the blush creeping up my neck to my face.  “You know I do.”  I mumbled, hoping he would not catch what I said.
“And what would Dominic think about that?”  Hunter reached over and ran his fingers down my arm, causing me to shiver.  Over the last year, Hunter had seriously kicked up the flirting game with me.  I am sure it was because of Dominic.
I rolled my eyes at him.   “You always bring him up, why?”
“Because I don’t think he deserves you.  Is he actually going to make it here tomorrow for the party, or is he going to blow you off again?”
“He promised he would make it this time.  He didn’t blow me off the last time.  He got held up at practice, and it didn’t make any sense for him to come all the way here, and turn right back around.”  He made it up to me by sending me flowers the next day.  Yeah, I was still mad, but it is not as if he could drop what he was doing just to come home to see me.  I knew football was his life.
“If I was him, and you were my girlfriend, I would make damn sure I was home every chance I got.”  I noticed when he said this, that he gripped the steering wheel a little tighter, and his knuckles were turning white.
“He’s trying, Hunter.”
As we were pulling into the driveway of my house, he mumbled under his breath something that sounded like, “He needs to try harder.”
“What did you say?”  I asked, wanting to clarify what I thought he said.
Shaking his head, he responded, “Nothing.  What time do you want me back to pick you and Hailey up?”
“You don’t have too; I’m going to drive my car down in the morning.  I just need you to make sure my brothers are there by seven.  I don’t care what you have to tell them, just get them there.”  I reached over the seat and shook Hailey’s leg and said “Hails, wake up.  We’re home.”
The next morning Hailey and I were up before Mason and Cooper.  We quickly got ready, and made our way back down to the shore house to start getting set up for the party.  Finally, after all the food was out, and everything was set up, Hailey and I went up to my room and started to get ready for the party.
“So what are you planning on wearing?  I know we packed a bunch of different shit.”  Hailey said as she pulled out everything from the bags we had packed last night before we fell asleep.
“I’m wearing my white shorts, and that,”—I pointed to the black low cut halter-top she had in her hand—“with my black peep toe pumps.”  I picked this because Dominic could never keep his hands off me.  He always told me that wearing white shorts made my legs look miles long.
“Your brothers are going to throw a fit.  That shirt barely covers the girls.”
I smiled, looking at her through the mirror in front of me, and just shrugged my shoulders.  I knew she was right, but I did not care.  “You should wear those hot pink shorts on the pillow over there, with the white strapless shirt and those cute white pumps with the pink underneath them.  The white shirt will bring out your tan.”
Hailey picked up the outfit and held it up to herself in the mirror, “Yeah, I think you are right.  I do look pretty hot in those pink shorts.”
Hailey was gorgeous.  She was tall with long blonde hair, dark olive skin, dark blue eyes and flawless skin.  I never could understand why she felt so insecure about herself.
After Hailey and I finished getting ready, we made our way downstairs to start greeting everyone arriving for the surprise party.  We had our next-door neighbor Jimmy have everyone park in his parent’s driveway.  Hunter and my brothers would think it was Jimmy throwing the party.  Around six-thirty, I got a text from Hunter saying they would be there a little after seven.
Wondering why Dominic was not here yet, I sent him a text to find out where he was.  I did not want him ruining the surprise by showing up late.
Me 6:36pm: Where r u?
Dominic 6:38pm: on my way stuck in traffic
Me 6:40pm: text me when you cross the bridge
Dominic 6:41pm: I’ll be there by 10
Me 6:42pm: Y so late?
Dominic 6:44pm: Traffic
Of course, he was going to be late; he would be late to his own damn wedding.  I knew I should not act pissy, but he had known about this for weeks.  He should have been here hours ago, but at least he was coming this time.
“Everyone, please find a hiding place.  They will be here in the next few minutes.” Hailey yelled over all the chatter in the house.
You would think finding hiding places for 75 people would be somewhat hard, but somehow, everyone found a place.
I heard their street bikes pulling into the driveway so I “shushed” everyone to give a warning that the boys were here.
They walked in laughing, and flipped the light switch on.  Everyone screamed “Surprise!”
Cooper and Mason’s eyes flew wide open.  When they noticed everyone, they were in complete shock.  When their eyes landed on Hailey, Jaylinn and me standing in front of the stairs, they smiled and shook their heads.
After being greeted by a few of their friends, they made their way over to us.  Mason pulled me into his arms, “I knew you were up to no good.”  He let go of me and grabbed Hailey, while Cooper hugged me.  “I can’t believe you two did this.  Mason said you girls were out on dates tonight.”
Cooper released me, and leaned me against the wall beside Jaylinn.  “Is that why you left so early this morning?  I was surprised when mom said you left around ten.  Your ass never gets up before noon.”
Hunter walked up next to me and leaned his elbow against my shoulder; I looked up at him, then back to Cooper.  “I knew you and Mason wouldn’t let us leave without a fight, so we had to disappear early.”
“You’re damn straight we wouldn’t.  Oh, this,” Cooper motioned behind Hunter, “is Jessica, Alexis, and Angel.”
I knocked Hunter’s elbow off my shoulder, and then turned towards them.  I was surprised to see Alexis standing there with two other girls I did not recognize.  “Hi, I’m MacKenzie, their sister, and this is my best friend Hailey, and Jaylinn over there is Hunter’s sister.”  Alexis rolled her eyes, which she did a lot, and the other two girls just mumbled hello’s.
I excused myself and walked into the kitchen to grab a drink when my older brother Jackson and his pregnant fiancĂ© Chloe walked in.  “Hey, you guys made it!  How are you feeling Chloe?”  I reached over to rub her baby bump.
“This morning sickness is seriously kicking my ass.  I don’t know how long we will be able to stay, but we wanted to show up for a little while.”
“You and Hailey did an excellent job Kenzie.  Mase and Coop were freaking the fuck out all day.  Hunter and I had to keep them from coming to search for you girls.”  Jackson said.
“Well, thanks for covering for us.  I am so glad they had no idea; you know how hard it is to surprise those two with anything.  Hey, why don’t you guys just stay in your room upstairs?”  I looked over at Chloe, “That way, if you don’t feel good, you can go upstairs to lie down.  All the doors are locked, so no one can get into them.”
Jackson looked over at Chloe, and she nodded, “Alright, I guess we can do that.”
“Chloe, there are some clothes upstairs you can put on to sleep in.”
Chloe stood on her tiptoes, and kissed Jackson.  He placed his large hands on each side of her belly.  “All right, all right, get a room already you two.”  Glued to each other ever since they met, it was no wonder she was pregnant.
I walked away from them to search for Hailey.  Passing the stairs, I saw Alexis standing with her back to me, holding Hunter’s hand.  “That’s just great!”  I mumbled to myself.  I looked past her and saw her two friends standing there, beside her.  Angel was holding on to Mason’s arm, and Jessica had her hands around Cooper’s waist.  I did not say anything to them as I walked by.  Out on the back deck, Jaylinn and Jackson were playing beer pong with Chloe’s friend Sarah, and some other girl.
“Hey Kenzie, did Hailey find you?”  Jackson said.
“No, that’s who I was looking for.”  I said, looking around at all the people swimming in the pool, and sitting around the fire pit.
“Have you seen Mase, Coop and Hunter?  I haven’t seen them since we got here.”  Jackson said.
“They were over by the stairs last time I saw them.”  I said, watching as his ping-pong ball lands in the cup on the opposite side of the table.
“Here, take over; I’m going to go get them.”  As Jackson handed me the ping-pong ball, Hailey came running up the deck steps and grabbed my arm.  “Fuck Kenz!”
“Hails, what the…” I spotted Hailey’s ex-boyfriend Matt as he walked in with some trashy looking girl with crazy red hair.  “Shit!”
“What’s going on?”  Jaylinn asked, looking around.
“Kenzie, what the fuck is he doing here?”  Hailey was practically screaming at me.  She had every right to be hysterical after the shit that asshole put her through.
“I have no idea.  You know I wouldn’t invite him here after what he did to you.”  After senior prom, about thirty of us came to party here at my parent’s shore house.  Alcohol flowed freely, and everyone became more and more trashed as the night passed.  Matt cheated on Hailey with some skank who had come with one of our friends.  They broke up that night, and Mason nearly beat the shit out of Matt.
I raised my chin in Matt’s direction, “Matt is here.”  Jaylinn looked over at Matt, anger shooting from her eyes.
Hailey was in tears and near panic.  “Why did he show up here?  He knows whose house this is.”
“Look, let’s just hang out here, and finish the game.  Try to act like he isn’t even here.  Chloe, can you text Jackson, and ask him to handle Matt?”
“Yeah, I sure can.”  She reached for her phone on the table, and I saw her tap out a text.  A second later, her phone beeped.  “He’ll take care of it.”
While Jaylinn and I finished our game, Hailey grabbed a bottle of Vodka off the outside bar, and started chugging it.
“You better slow down.  I’m not being the only one responsible if this party goes to shit.”  I knew she would ignore me, and be plastered by the end of the night.  After Matt’s stunt, I seriously did not blame her.
“Just let her be Kenzie.  She’s a blast when she’s drunk.”  Jaylinn said, as the ping-pong ball she threw hit the rim of one of the cups.
“Fine, but when she is puking her guts up, she is all yours.”  I threw my ping-pong ball in the cup and turned to look at Jaylinn with my eyebrows raised, gloating that I made my shot.
Finally, my brothers and Hunter came over, but Mason looked pissed.  He was watching Hailey as she drank straight from the vodka bottle.  “Kenzie, how much has she had to drink?”
I rolled my eyes at his over protective ass.  “She drank the whole bottle of vodka over there,”–pointing to the empty bottle on the bar– “and just started on the second one.”  I scowled in Hunter’s direction.  “Where’d your girlfriend go, Hunter?”
Hunter had dated Alexis briefly a few summers ago, and she had dated Dominic right before he and I started dating.  She still was not over either one of them, and would do anything to get their attention.  She had started rumors that Dominic was going to leave me, and go back to her.  She even tried to break us up by telling people that she and Dominic made out after a few of his football games that I had not attended.  Dominic always denied it; I did not think he would do something like that to me, since he was the one that broke up with her.
“She left.  Where’s Dominic?”  Mason said, with a smug look on his face as he answered for Hunter.
“Low blow, Mase.  I’m going upstairs.”  I threw my ping-pong ball at Mason, and turned towards Hailey, “I’m going up to my room; are you coming?”
Hailey giggled at nothing in particular, and shook her head, “No, I’m good out here.  I don’t think I can move at this point, since I can’t feel my legs.”
I glared at Mason.  “You think you can keep her out of trouble, asshole?”
“Why are you going upstairs?  Just stay down here with us.  I’m sure Dom will be here soon, CC.”  Hunter spoke up, as I was getting up out of my seat.
“Kenzie, you’re not going upstairs!  It’s my birthday, and you haven’t even had a shot with me yet.”  Cooper said.  He threw his arm over my shoulder and pulled me into a hug, trapping me.
Rolling my eyes, I said, “Fine, but if I have to stay down here, and deal with this bullshit, I’m going to need more than one shot.”  I got up, and stormed away from them.
In the kitchen, I was about ready to down my shot when I felt a pair of hands grip my hips.  I hoped it was Dominic finally getting here, but when I turned around, I was staring at Hunter chest.
Seething through my teeth, I pushed back on him.  “Hunter, don’t okay, just don’t.  I can’t believe you, of all people, would invite Alexis here.”
He crossed his arms across his chest, looked down at the floor, then back up to me.  “CC, let’s just go out front, and talk for a sec.”
“No.”  I was not going anywhere with him.  He knew I hated the drama that bitch brought with her.  I had wanted to have a good time tonight, but seeing her had ruined it for me.
“No?”  He was challenging me.  He knew I had a problem telling him no to pretty much anything.
God damn it!
Why did he have to be so damn hot?  Even after that summer, knowing nothing could happen, I still had feelings for him.  I had Dominic now, but no matter what my brain said, my heart wanted Hunter.  I looked up, and he smirked at me.  I rolled my eyes.  “Fine, but we can’t be gone long; I need to go check on Hailey.”
Hunter and I made our way out to the front of the house, and I heard someone call my name.  I turned around, and noticed it was Ricky, one of the football players from high school.
“Hey Ricky, what’s going on?  Are you down here for the night, or are you staying somewhere?”
“A couple of us from the team rented a house down the road for the summer.  We got wind that you were throwing a party, so we stopped by.  Is Hailey here with you, too?”  For as long as I could remember, Ricky had a crush on Hailey, but Hailey was not having anything to do with him.
“Yeah, she’s out on the back deck with my brothers and Jaylinn.  I’ll catch up with you in a little bit.”  I gave Ricky a hug, and walked down the front steps.  Hunter and I walked down the driveway, away from the blaring music, and the people gathered on the front porch.
“What’s going on with you and Ricky?  You know Dominic has a problem with that asshole.”  Hunter asked, glaring at Ricky over my shoulder.
“Nothing is going on with me and Ricky.  We are just friends.  You know, I am allowed to have friends.”
“Why did you have to hug him then?”
“UGH!  Are we seriously doing this?”  Hunter nodded his head.  “Dominic only has a problem with him because he told me that he saw Dominic and Alexis together after one of the games.  Look, I am not having this argument with you.  Let’s just go back inside.  I need to go check on Hailey, and Dominic should be here soon.”
I started walking away from him.  “Wait!”  Hunter called out, and I stopped walking, but I did not turn around.  “Please don’t be mad at me.  I’m trying to do the right thing here.”
“Yeah?  And what’s that?”  Hunter took a few steps, pushed his body flush against my back and whispered in my ear, “Keeping you away from me, CC.  You know I want you.  Fuck, you can feel it.”  To prove his point, he shifted his hips so that I could feel his hardness.  “We both know I just can’t have you.”  Hunter backed away from me, and walked back towards the house.

My Review

I started reading Trying Not to Love You Sunday night I believe it was, and I did not want to stop. (Monday morning at work was ROUGH!) Honestly, I'm not quite what sure it was about the book that drew me in. I think it may be that the characters are so well done, and that they have such real dialogues and problems they are dealing with. In any case, she hooked me right away. Thr further I got into the book, the more I wanted to read. By the time I made it to the end, I couldn't wait to find out how it was going to end...And I am still waiting! Trying Not to Love You, has the mother of all cliffhanger endings. It was totally not what I was expecting, and I LOVED it. (Ok I hated it, because now I have to wait to see what happens.) I loved it, because it was such a surprise. I assumed (and yes I know what they about people who assume) it would be your typical HEA, so the cliffhanger really threw me for a loop! Overall, I give this book 4 stars! Very well written, and I highly recommend that you read it.

Buy Links


To read more about Megan and Trying Not to Love You, please check out today's earlier post!  




SAE Featured Friday post and giveaway: Megan Smith, Daisy Prescott, and The Reading Vixens



It is a busy day here on Pretty in Pink!  Hope you guys enjoy all the posts, I know I have enjoyed putting them together for you!  This week I have debut novelists Daisy Prescott and Megan Smith and the lovely ladies over at The Reading Vixens, Beth and Kait. 

Let's kick this weeks Featured Friday off with author Megan Smith.  Megan's debut album Trying Not to Love You was published TODAY!!! Happy Release Day from Pretty in Pink!!!  I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this book and let me tell you I LOVED it!  I won't go into any more details now, you can check out my review here


Bio
When Megan Smith is not writing she is a wife to her high school sweetheart and a mom to her son. She lives in New Jersey. At the end of the day when she is done work and being a mom you can find her curled up with a good book or writing.
    

Prologue
Age 10

“Mom, I’m home!” I called out when I opened the front door.
“Hi, baby girl. How was school?” I walked over to my mom and gave her a hug. We shuffled off to the kitchen as we did every day when I got home to make me a snack.
When we walked into the kitchen, my older brothers Mason and Cooper, who are twins and Jackson were sitting at the table doing homework with the most handsome boy I had ever seen.
“Kenzie, close your mouth.” Jackson said, laughing.
I was standing there staring at him; I could not pry my eyes off of him. “Shut up!” I said to Jackson just as the boy looked up to see me staring at him. He smiled at me.
I quickly looked over to Mom. She had a giant smile on her face. “What would you like to eat?”
“I’m not hungry.” No way could I eat in front of him. He was causing butterflies in my belly. “Is it okay if Hailey comes over?”
I heard Mason groan and mumble, “Not again.”
“Of course she can,” Mom said while pouring sweet tea into glasses.
 I reached for the cordless phone on the kitchen island, called Hailey and asked her to come over.
She walked into the kitchen like she owned the place but stopped dead in her tracks when she noticed who was sitting at the table. I giggled and ran off to my room with Hailey close on my heels. Once she shut my bedroom door, she turned around and asked, “Umm Kenzie, who is that at the table?”
“I have no idea; he is cute though, isn’t he?”
“You can say that again. We need to go ask your mom.” Hailey was always brave like that. She does not hold back.
“No way.” I said bashfully and sat down on the chair in front of my vanity.
“He must have just moved here.” Hailey picked up a brush from my vanity to brush my hair. “I’ve never seen him around school.”
Someone knocked on my door. “Come in.”
“I thought I heard you girls up here. Here is your drink sweetie. Hello Hailey, would you like something to drink?”
“No thanks, Mrs. C. Who is that downstairs, sitting next to Mason?” Leave it to Hailey to come right out and ask.
Mom looked over at me and smiled, “That’s Hunter. He just moved here with his mom and sister Jaylinn.”
“How old is he?” Hailey asked while braiding my hair.
“Oh, he’s thirteen, the same age as the twins.”
Even at thirteen, Hunter had all the girls crazy over him at school. His dark brown hair was almost black. His bright blue eyes and the cute little dimple on his right cheek when he smiled had all the girls swooning.From that day on, I felt drawn to Hunter, and I had a feeling I always would be.

 Age 13

Our families took summer vacations together ever since Hunter’s family moved here. We were camping this year in Virginia Beach. There was a hurricane passing off the coast, so that meant we needed to stay inside the tents or RV because of all the rain and wind. The parents all hung out in the RV. The boys’ tent was bigger than the girls’ tent, so that is where the parents set us up with a bunch of different games. No one wanted to play those silly kids games. Jaylinn and Hailey voted for us to play truth or dare. Hailey chose me to go first, of course.
“Truth or Dare?” Hailey asked me.
I looked at her and smiled, knowing that trouble would find me with either answer. It did not matter which one I picked, Hunter would be involved. Hailey was the only person that knew I had a crush on Hunter. Jaylinn might have figured it out, but I had never flat out told her I liked her brother.
“Dare.”
Smirking at me, she said, “Go outside with Hunter and kiss him in the rain.”
All three of my brothers growled in unison. Hunter looked at me with wide eyes while both Hailey and Jaylinn started laughing and giving each other high-fives. I did not expect that from her, especially since my brothers were within striking distance.
“No way. Not happening.” Mason said.
Hailey, who was still laughing, looked at Mason and said, “A dare is a dare.”
Hunter reached out for my hand and helped me off the air mattress. Jaylinn open the tent flap for us so we could get out.
The rain was starting to slow down to just a drizzle. Hunter and I walked out, hands held together, and turned to face each other.
“Ready?” He asked. When I nodded my head, he said, “On the count of three. One.” He took a step closer. “Two.” I took the last step, our bodies just barely touching. “Three.”
Our lips connected, and it felt as if someone shocked me and stole my breath. It was sweet and intoxicating, and I did not want it to end. I felt like my brothers had barely let our lips touch before they started making a giant fuss about it.
“Alright man, that’s enough.” Jackson said.
“Dude, that’s my sister. Don’t ever let me see your lips on her again.” Mason said.
“Yeah or we’re gonna have problems.” Cooper said.
I would remember that kiss always, my first kiss. It might not have meant anything to Hunter, but it meant the world to me.

Age 15

My teenage hormones were in overdrive and Hunter was a massive problem, screwing with them. Only problem was, I was not on his radar, or at least I did not think I was. Hunter was going out with girls from our school, and I hated every second of it. I wanted to be the girl that he made out with at the movies. I wanted to be the girl that he took to prom this year. I wanted to be Hunter’s girlfriend.
“You ready to go?” Hailey walked into my room without even knocking, disturbing me from my pity party.
“Yeah, just have to do my makeup.” I grabbed the bag of make-up off my vanity that Mom and I had just bought yesterday.
“You are not wearing makeup Kenzie. You don’t need that shit.” Cooper said as he stood in the doorway of my room.
“Get out.” I stalked over to the door and tried to shut it, but he blocked it with his foot.
“Dude, what are you doing?” I had heard Hunter’s voice before I had even seen him.
I opened the door and crossed my arms. “I’m trying to shut my door, but jackass here won’t move.”
Cooper glared at me. “Give me the makeup Kenz and I’ll leave.”
“No.” I yelled. “Get out.”
“What the hell is all the yelling about?” Mason asked, standing behind Cooper and Hunter.
“She thinks she’s going out with Hailey dressed like that, and wearing that shit on her face.” Cooper answered Mason’s question.
I threw my hands up in the air, walked over to my closet and grabbed my sandals. I was not dressed any differently than I was any other day. I had on a tight fitting tank top and skinny jeans, my normal everyday clothes.
Hunter put his hand on Cooper’s shoulder, “Just leave her alone. Come on. Let’s go down to the baseball field.” Hunter was once again on my side, trying to deflect the problem.
“Nah, not until she gives me that shit.”
“Oh my God, would you guys knock it off? We’re only going to the movies. What’s the freaking deal?” Hailey asked them.
Mason eyed Hailey, then me and said, “Fine, but we are going with you.” Then he walked away and Cooper followed him.
Hunter looked at the bag of makeup and then eyed me. “You don’t need that shit. You’re beautiful just the way you are.”
My breath caught; I did not know what to say, so I did not say anything. Hunter tipped his head and followed Cooper and Mason. He had never called me that before. I did not think I was beautiful, average, sure. I was shorter than most of the kids in my school, and even at fifteen, I was curvier than most of the girls. I had long, dark chocolate hair that cascaded down my back, eyes the color of the blue sky and pale skin dotted with freckles due to my Irish blood.
“Not on his radar, my ass.” Hailey said, laughing at me. I am sure I was bright red.

****

At the end of that summer, Hunter was leaving for Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. The day Hunter left was awful; all I did was cry all day long. Hunter stopped over and said goodbye to me before he left, which only made me cry more. I was going to miss seeing him every day, and secretly, I think he was going to miss me too.

Age 18

When Hunter came back from school that year, I realized how smitten of him I had become. The day he came home for summer break, I was standing in the kitchen at my parents shore house, making a sandwich. Hunter walked through the door, and I nearly cut my fingers off when I caught sight of him. He was….so sexy. He seemed to have grown taller, and obviously, he worked out more. His shirt stretched tight across his broad shoulders, his sleeves pulled tight around his biceps. His hair was slightly longer than normal, and it had that sexy just rolled out of bed look.
He walked in and reached over my head, grabbing a glass out of the cabinet. I glanced over just as his shirt rode up slightly, revealing some kind of script tattoo. There was a star on his right elbow and skulls with flames covered his left arm.
After he grabbed the glass and filled it with water from the fridge, he came over and kissed the side of my head. “Hey CC.”
“Those tats look good on you.” I said, trying to keep my voice mild and even.
He grabbed a few chips from the bag I had left open on the counter. “I have more.” He put the chips in his mouth then pulled his shirt over his head and tossed it on the counter. I almost fainted. His tan, muscular abs begged me to reach out and touch them. On his left side, starting under his arm, down his ribs and ending on his hip, in script read Live Today As If You’ll Die Tomorrow. On his lower stomach, stretching from hip to hip, in the same script read No Regrets. I lifted my eyebrows and smirked at him; he smiled, shrugged his shoulders and turned around to show me a Celtic cross that took up most of his back.
“A friend of mine is working as an apprentice at a tattoo shop down by my house at school.” Hunter explained.
“I like them.” I padded over and grabbed my towel that was on the back of the kitchen chair. “I’ll talk to you later; I’m going down to the beach.” It was getting hot in here; I needed to stay away from him before I started pawing him.
Later that night, everyone was getting ready to go out to eat, but I did not want to go. I wanted to spend some alone time with Hunter. After talking to Hailey for a while, I decided I was finally going to tell him how I felt; I had to see if he had any feelings for me. I could not keep torturing myself like this.
I told my mom that I was going to stay home because I had an upset stomach. Hunter, always so quick to look out for me, told her he would stay home and would make sure I was okay. He did exactly as I thought he would do.
After everyone had left, I went upstairs into my room. I was lying on my bed when Hunter walked in, carrying a glass of ginger ale and some crackers.
“You should try to eat and drink this.” He walked around my bed and put the stuff on the nightstand next to my bed.
“There’s nothing wrong with me. I just didn’t feel like going.” I patted the bed next to me for him to come and sit. He did not come over at first. He just stared at me, contemplating what he should do.
“It’s probably not a good idea that I’m in here with you.” Hunter said this as he sat down.
“Probably not, but no one is here.” I sat up so my body was facing him, my knee touching his hip. He had a peevish look on his face. I reached over and slightly pushed his shoulder back to angle his body towards mine. I drifted closer to him, like a moth drawn to light and planted my lips on his.
When our lips melted together, I swear fireworks were going off somewhere in the distance. Hunter reached up with his left hand, and put it behind my neck, bringing me a little closer to him. He moved his right hand to my hip and started to lay me back on the bed. He hovered over the top half of my body. Then suddenly, it was as if someone pulled him off me. He was up pacing the room and raking his hand threw his hair.
Shocked by the sudden change, I asked, “What’s the matter?”
He stopped pacing and had a sorrowful look on his face. He started pacing again, and then he finally said, “That shouldn’t have happened.”
“Hunter, you’ve known I’ve had feelings for you all these years. Why is it such a big deal?”
“You’re brothers would freak the fuck out. Don’t you remember how they acted the last time we kissed?” He made it sound as if that should answer all my questions.
I got up off the bed, straightened my shirt and walked in front of him, causing him to look at me. “Well, they’ll just have to get over it.” I took a deep breath--here goes nothing. “I want you Hunter.”
His eyes went wide, “What! Fuck!” He was shaking his head back and forth. “No, this isn’t happening. You can’t. You fucking can’t. You deserve someone better than me.”
Well this was not going exactly as I had planned.
“I have to go.” He announced and then, he was gone. When he walked away from me that day, a piece of my heart went with him. At least now, I had my answer even if it crushed me.

****

After that night in my room, Hunter acted as if it never happened. He was back to flirting with me but made sure we were never alone together. I was still hurt with the way things went down, but I guess I had to take what I could get from him.
When Hailey, Jaylinn and I went back to school that year, I started dating Dominic, whom I have known since kindergarten. Dominic was the exact opposite of Hunter; he was exactly what I needed, a distraction. He was shorter than Hunter, with a thin frame, shaggy blonde hair and honey brown eyes. He was always sweet, caring, and lovable, everything I wanted in a boyfriend. Dominic was the quarterback on our football team at school. All the girls wanted him, but he only had eyes for me.
When my brothers and Hunter came home for Thanksgiving weekend, they met Dominic since I had invited him for dinner. Dominic stood up to my brothers when they threatened him about dating me. Dominic never backed down from their threats though, as most guys would have.Hunter hated Dominic. Anytime he saw us together, he would glare at Dominic and leave the room. When Dominic was not around, Hunter would flirt like crazy with me. I loved those times, but all Hunter would give me was just flirting. That is why I chose to stay with Dominic.


Buy Links

Next up is the fabulous Daisy Prescott and her debut novel Geoducks are for Lovers.  This is another must read in my opinion.  I will have a review and spotlight post coming up on May 24th as part of her Release Tour so I won't say any more than that for now.

Bio

Before writing full time, Daisy Prescott worked in the world of art, auctions, antiques, and home decor.  She earned her degree in Art History and endured a brief stint as a film theory graduate student.  Baker, art educator, antiques dealer, blue ribbon poe maker, blogger, content wrangler, freelance writer, fangirl, gardener, wife, and pet mom are a few of the other titles she's acquired over the years.
Born and raised in San Diego, Daisy and her husband (aka SO) currently live in a rela life Stars Hollow in the Bostonsuburbs with their dog Hubbell, and an imaginary house goat.  Geoducks are for Lovers is her debut novel.  She is busy researching her second novel.

Blurb

Food writer Maggie Marrion is just getting back on her feet after a horrible year, or two, or three.  With their twentieth reunion approaching, she invites four of her closest friends from college for a weekend at her beach cabin.  What she doesn't expect is her best friends, artist Quinn Dayton and part-time erotica novelist, Selah Elmore, to play matchmaker.  The two plot a surprise that will make the weekend, and her life, a lot more interesting.  
Gil Morrow, former grunge musician turned history professor, joins them as Selah's date for the weekend.  After coming face to face with the one who got away, he decides he's waited long enough to get the girl.  With the support of old friends, a few wishing rocks, the world's largest burrowing clam, and a hot lumberjack thrown into the mix, Gil reminds Maggie that forty something isn't too old for second chances.
Can we learn to love the life we have and let go of who we expected to be?  What happens with these generation X-ers as they share laughter, tears, life's ups and downs, old stories and new beginnings.
If you are curious to see what a geoduck looks like, you can check out my cover reveal post.  (Warning:  they are VERY phallic!)  Also has the correct pronunciation, because I know you are saying it just like I was before I read Daisy's book.  
Links

Buy Links
 


 And finally for this week, I bring you one of the Official SAE Bloggers, the lovely lasses from The Reading Vixens, Beth and Kait. 

The Reading Vixens (Kait and Beth) started out as best friends who simply loved to read. Kait and Beth started blogging in July of 2012 as the YA Vixens. After much debate they changed their name to The Reading Vixens in March of 2013.
Currently Kait Vixen lives in Florida, working too hard for the man by day and reading/blogging into the late night.
Beth Vixen resides in Rhode Island, with her husband and son. She’s a stay at home mom and will be going back to school in the fall to pursue a career as a RN.
Considering themselves ‘Soul Twins’ they are inseparable when together and will forever be a BOGO (Buy One, Get One) team. The Vixens are inspired by art and music and hope to one day co-author a novel together. If you find the Vixens together you’re sure to have a crazy good time with a bunch of laughs. They are actually planning on attending the Stamford Author Event together, so… watch out! :)

Beth and Kait's Links

This week's Featured Friday giveaway will have 2 winners again.  Up for grabs is an e-copy of Laura Howard's The Forgotten Ones, and an e-copy of A.M. Hargrove's Edge of Disaster.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Well guys, I hope you have enjoyed this weeks Featured Friday for the Stamford Author Event.  Don't forget to go ahead and sign up to attend.  Tickets are FREE!!  Come see me and all the awesome authors, bloggers, and volunteers who are working hard to put this event together.  Next week I will be featuring Juliana Haygert and Lila Felix and giving away an e-copy of The Girl, The Gold Tooth and Everything by Francine LaSala. 

Cover Reveal Promise Me This by Sarah Ashley Jones


Promise Me This by Sarah Ashley Jones
Cover Design by Okay Creations.
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 17, 2013

Welcome to the South - where the tea is sweet and the accents are sweeter. This Southern way of life is all Charlie has ever known. It’s not until she loses the only person who pushed her to break free of the Southern Belle mold that she starts living the life she needs and not the life her parents forced on her.

Jhett has lived on the edge for as long as he could remember - constantly teetering back and forth between being a rock star and living a normal life. His rebellious and sometimes arrogant attitude is known to get him into trouble, especially with the girls who hang on his every move.

Charlie never thought that a trip to pack up her brother’s apartment would leave her feeling even more unsettled about the grainy details of her brother’s death. Her quest for information leads her straight to his old hangout and into arms of Jhett, who suspiciously knows more about her situation than he ever should.

Only a few questions remain - Can you trust someone based on their word alone? And if you make a promise, how far will you go to keep it?


About The Author

Sarah Ashley Jones was raised in San Diego, California, but currently wrangles her husband and four dogs in Clarksville, Tennessee. When she's not writing she works in a pottery studio and comes home covered in paint on a daily basis. She has a slightly unhealthy obsession with cupcakes and chapstick. She is an eternal optimist and can often be found dancing and singing to music at any given time. It's rare to see her not smiling or laughing, but if you do, just bring her a cupcake and it will cheer her up.

Promise Me This is her first novel and is a story that weaseled its way into her heart and wouldn't leave her alone until she typed it up on the computer. She already is hard at work on ideas for her next book and hopes that the
characters never stop coming to her. Her huge imagination was always in overdrive as a child and now she is beyond excited to put it to good use as an adult. She plans to write as long as she has stories that need to be told.

FIND SARAH ASHLEY JONES ON

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Happy Release Day to Stamford Author Event author Daisy Prescott with Geoducks are for Lovers




Click on the cover for the Kindle link, which is FREE right now.  Also available in paperback through Amazon.

I will have a post and review as part of the blog release tour on May 24th, but I will go ahead and tell ya you should buy this book! 


SAE Featured Friday Giveaway Winners 5/10/13

Winner's for last week's Featured Friday giveaway for the Stamford Author Event have been picked!  Thanks for all the entires and make sure to check back this week for a chance to win even more SAE books! This weeks Featured Friday Stamford Author Event authors are Daisy Prescott who's novel Geoducks are for Lovers released today, and Megan Smith who's novel Trying Not to Love You releases on 5/17/13.  We are also featuring the blog of The Reading Vixens, one of the official SAE bloggers.  Up for grabs on our giveaway this week are an e-copy of Laura Howard's The Forgotten Ones and A.M. Hargrove's Edge of Disaster




And the winners are.....




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Guys I have sent your email addresses to the giveaway coordinator who will pass it along to the authors.  You should receive your e-book soon!